Reflective Essay On Criminal Justice

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Though my interest in criminal justice has been long-lived, there are two particularly impactful experiences that lead to my current areas of interests.

The first occurred five years ago. I was concluding my time in high school by interning with Sasha Bruce Youthwork (SBY) as part of the “Senior Project.” Though I completed many significant projects with SBY, the most meaningful one to me involved working with residents in the safe house, Residential Empowerment Adolescent Community Home (REACH). REACH is a court appointed alternative-to-institutionalization residential facility for adolescents who are involved in the juvenile justice system. While there, two other interns and I collaborated in designing an activity that involved meeting with a group of teenage boys, all minorities, who had been committed or detained at the home. The purpose of this activity was to encourage the youth and show them that there
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It was my sophomore year, and I was sitting in the lecture hall of my class, The New Jim Crow: African-Americans, Mass Incarceration and the Prison Industrial Complex taught by Dr. Joseph B. Richardson. On that particular day, a guest speaker had come to share his past interactions with the criminal justice system. He was a young African American male, who had been in and out of detention for most of his adolescence and part of his early 20s. Not only did he detail on the deplorable conditions of jail, but he also described his troubling upbringing. He was raised in Southeast Washington, D.C., an area that is notorious for having a high crime and poverty rate. His father was not active in his life, and the presence of drugs in his neighborhood was frequent. Though he had since desisted from criminal activity, in retrospect, he believes that having an active role model during his youth and being afforded the opportunity to attend college would have provided him positive
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